Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How to Improve the Click-Through Rates of Your Auto Business' Online Marketing Strategies?

In the UK virtually all cars and light commercial vehicles over 3 years old are required by law to undergo an annual comprehensive examination known as the MOT to ensure that they are roadworthy. This testing has undergone changes since its inception in 1960. During the 1940s and 50s motor vehicles were becoming more common on the roads and many of these vehicles were produced before 1940 and were not serviced very regularly or if at all. This meant that there were many lorries on the road that were potentially hazardous with the most common faults being with the braking system, lights and steering. In 1960 Ernest Marples, the then Minister for Transport ordered that all vehicles of more than 10 years of age must have their steering systems, lights and brakes tested every year. This testing became known as the Ministry Of Transport Test, which was then shortened to 'MOT'. In April 1967 the testable age was lowered so that all vehicles over the age of 3 had to undergo testing every year.

The MOT has altered over the years to become more inclusive and it is continuing to develop. In 1968, new tyre tread regulations are introduced so that there is at least 1mm of tread across three quarters of the width of the tyre. In 1978 the test is updated to include windscreen washers, wipers, horn, exhausts, spotlights and indicators. In 1991 petrol emissions, anti-lock braking systems and rear seatbelts are included in the test. The next update comes in 1992 when a review of tyre tread is changed to a minimum depth of 1.6mm. In 1993 additional changes are introduced to include mirrors, rear fog lights and registration plates. 1994 sees diesel emissions added to the test. New changes in 2012 are set to include examination of the electronic parking brake, electronic stability control, towbar and trailer/caravan electrical socket and the function of warning lights. As our vehicles become more complex, more can go wrong with them and this is why more components are added.

From the very start, the British Government decided that the MOT test should be able to be carried out at local garages so that motorists have the handiness of a test centre near where they reside. There are about 19,000 testing stations in the United Kingdom and only the Ministry of Transport had the power to award a licence to the test station. These days the scheme is run by another government agency called Vehicle Operator and Services Agency, or VOSA but they still answer to the Secretary of State for Transport. The test has a uniform set of standards throughout the country, so whether you have your MOT done in Caithness or in Cornwall the same set of tests are performed on the vehicle. The local MOT garage is liable for the quality of the testing at that individual testing station. These garages become known as an Authorised Examiner, having been granted a license by VOSA to perform MOT tests. In turn these AEs have the authority to appoint specially trained people to carry out MOT Tests on vehicles. These MOT Testers become known as Nominated Testers. Anyone wishing to become an NT will have to train at a testing garage before attending a 2 day course run by VOSA so that they can be nominated as testers by an AE.
Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are an integral part of any business' online marketing strategy. These campaigns are highly effective in driving a good number of sales in a short period of time. However, businesses can reap these beneficial results only when they clearly understand how to structure and manage a PPC campaign.

Click-through rate (CTR) is the ratio of the number of clicks your ad receives to the number of impressions - the number of times your ad shows up - your ad receives. A good CTR, as such, is not very helpful to a business if they do not convert into sales. A good CTR combined with good conversion rates leads to good quality score which is very beneficial to a business. A good quality score for an ad campaign means better positioning of PPC ads in search engines at a lower cost.

Hence, a well-structured PPC campaign should aim at a good quality score. Here are a few tips which will help you improve the CTRs of your ad campaign.

Compelling, Clear and Specific Ads
To get higher click-through rates it is imperative to create effective ads that attract the attention of your target audience. The effectiveness of ad copy is measured by the relevancy of your ad and the direct and clear message that it conveys to your audience. Make the ads compelling by using customer language and by highlighting the product/service/offers in an appealing way.

Flexible Campaign Structure
While developing a PPC campaign for your business, it is important to keep the campaign as flexible as possible. By doing so, you can understand which campaigns are successful for your business and which need to be improved. The more relevant your ads are in terms of your keywords, ad groups and content in the landing page, the more successful the campaign will be.

• Experiment with Various Ad Copies and Ad Groups
Click-through rates and rankings of PPC ads vary from campaign to campaign and from one keyword to another. While creating a PPC ad campaign you need to perform good keyword research to identify all the related keywords to your business and then organize these keywords into small, tightly knit groups. Also, it is necessary to create different ad copies having different kinds of messages and presentations of offers.

• Experiment with Landing Page Content
The landing page quality is an important factor in improving the quality score of your PPC ad. If your audience, after landing on your page, is not satisfied or feels disconnected with the content/presentation, they are less likely to make a purchase. This way, you may not only lose quality leads, but also waste your money on clicks that cannot be converted into leads.

• Experiment with E-Mail Campaigns
E-mail campaigns designed to promote a specific offer by your business can be highly instrumental in driving sales, as they establish a direct contact with your targeted audience. But, not every promotional e-mail is successful in catching the attention of the audience (unattractive and vague e-mails are usually considered junk by receivers). Hence, have different templates with clear, appealing ad copies and different keywords, so as to see which campaign drives more sales.

Positioning of Ad in Search Engines
Though paid ads are displayed prominently at the top of search engine result pages, they might be ranked low or penalized if the search engines find that there are low click-through or conversion rates. As stated before, having relevant and helpful content in PPC ads leads to a better quality score, which means the search engine will automatically display your ads more often and in better positions. This translates to more exposure and reliability of your ad.

Management of Ad Campaigns
This is the most vital part in making a PPC campaign successful. Better management of your ad campaigns by: knowing the trending keywords and updating the ad copies, consciously experimenting with various ad formats and keywords, targeting different groups within your audience (based on age, income, gender, etc.) at different times and analyzing the quality scores and conversion rates of the campaigns launched. These elements combined will help increase the click-through rates of your ads.

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